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Caring for Each Other During the Government Shutdown

The government shutdown is affecting all of us and will continue to provide barriers to food and housing. Here’s how the shutdown is and will be affecting West Ohio communities:


FOOD INSECURITY

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) cannot guarantee funding of SNAP benefits beyond February.
  • SNAP supports 38+ million people, of whom 76% are children, older adults, or persons with disabilities.
  • SNAP supports 1,399,579 Ohioans and 691,849 assistance groups, like food pantries

Food Pantry Resources

  • Some food pantries have had to start paying for the transportation and storage of USDA provided goods.


HOUSING INSECURITY

Section 8/HUD Housing

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) cannot renew funding for 2019.
  • Residents in Section 8/HUD housing may be evicted due to lack of rent payments.


IMPACT ON FARMERS

  • USDA support checks will not be delivered to farmers who have already been hit hard by the international trade war
    • Government support helps farmers to purchase seed, gasoline, and other necessary supplies


IMPACT ON FURLOUGHED WORKERS

  • Furloughed workers are not receiving paychecks which directly affects their ability to make payments on bills, mortgage, food, medicine, and more.
    • Families who have typically been financially stable will be struggling to make ends meet and will be relying on local resources for food, rent and heat, and more.


HOW DO I HELP?

  • CONNECT with local pantries and kitchens
    • Find out what resources are most needed and provide those items
  • CONNECT with landlords and electric/gas companies to resolve potential missed payments
  • CONNECT with local folks
    • Find out who in your community will need greater assistance due to the shutdown
    • Find out what sources are providing additional assistance for food, housing, and more
  • ADVOCATE to reopen the government:
    • Contact Senators: Sherrod Brown, (202) 224-2315 & Rob Portman, (202) 224-3353
    • Contact Representatives: Find your representative: https://www.house.gov/


HOW to advocate:

  1. Introduce yourself as a concerned constituent and a United Methodist.
  2. State your opposition to the government shut down and urge for immediate re-opening.
  3. Tell them WHY you wish for the government to reopen:
    1. People in my community are suffering trying to keep their housing, stay warm, and feed their family due to the government shutdown.
    2. As a United Methodist and an American citizen, I urge you to care for all people, especially the poor among us, by reopening the government swiftly.
    3. The families in my community need the government to reopen so that the life-giving resources of food, housing, heat, and more can help families survive and thrive. 


For more information or to take action, contact Rebecca L. Hug, Community Engagement Coordinator (740) 689-7645 or rhug [at] wocumc.org